Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Depressant of the Bible

It has been a while since I read Ecclesiastes. And, after reading it today I remember why I have avoided it. This just might be one of the most depressing 12 chapters in all of scripture. Maybe that's why it gets placed right before the Song of Solomon.

Oddly though, I actually relate extremely well to this book of the Bible. I, like the author am realizing just how meaningless everything in this life really is. After all, that is indeed what the writer of Ecclesiastes proposes through basically eleven and one half (all but the last few verses) chapters. And I have to agree. All of the things we work so hard for in this earthly existence is nothing. We can't keep it when we die, and we ALL die. What I relate to most though is how the writer thought through every aspect of life. He didn't leave anything out. Strength, money/wealth, security, pleasure (in many forms), education, wisdom, he hit it all. That is my kind of thinking. Dig in deep and leave no stone unturned before you make your call on it. And call it he did. EVERYTHING is meaningless "under the sun."

So basically, we read 11 chapters of a recommendation that we enjoy in this life whatever it is God gives us to enjoy as best we can enjoy it. Why? Because, even though it is meaningless, that's all you got here. Now THAT is depressing to me. Then, in the last few verses the real message comes in loud and clear. "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." There it is; hold onto the eternal perspective. Do work for the Kingdom of God instead of for the world around you. That is where meaning is found in this life! In just that one verse at the end of 12 chapters, the writer takes this from the ultimate depressant to a simple, powerful focus for our lives. What a writer!

There are some other really cool things sprinkled in this book. I am going to dig into those a bit more the rest of this week and weekend. I think I might just start liking this book more and more.